The Star newspaper has uncovered the murder of another gay man that could be linked to the four others that were recently reported.
The newspaper has, in the past few weeks, revealed a series of murders that suggest that gay men in the Johannesburg area are being targeted by a killer or killers, possibly even a serial killer.
Like the four previously known victims, Manolis Veloudos was, in April last year, found in his home in Greenside bound and murdered.
As in the other incidents, there was no sign of forced entry, indicating that Veloudos invited his attacker in. Also, as was the case with some of the other victims, he had an online dating profile.
One difference, however, was that Veloudos was not strangled but was bashed to death with his laptop. The Star reports that a suspect was charged but was released after his DNA did not match evidence from the scene of the crime.
The victim’s niece, Evita Veloudos, told the Star that CCTV footage of her uncle with an unknown man on the night of the murder was handed over to the police, but it was apparently lost by the investigating officers.
In the first of the murder cases, Jim Cathels was found murdered at his home in Berea in December 2010. His murder was followed by those of Oscar O’Hara (33), Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo (36) and most recently Barney van Heerden (39) last month.
All the men were killed in private residences. Gay men in Johannesburg have been warned to be wary of inviting strangers into their homes.
On Thursday, the organisers of Mr. Gay South Africa called on the hate crimes task team recently established by the Minister of Justice and the National Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the alleged “gay serial killer” murders in Gauteng.